On Campus

In Support of a BGIE Final Paper

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I promise I’m not writing this simply because my BGIE exam remains one of the major disappointments of my test-taking life (sorry, Sophus).

No, I’m writing this because, with drop/add upon us, I’m reminded of one of the great uncertainties I felt during course selection in May. This uncertainty was all the more noteworthy given how many other variables did not feel uncertain.

After RC year you know whether you want to focus on courses in entrepreneurship or finance, TOM or FRC. As you cobble together a schedule you probably know whether you’re a morning person or not, and whether you would trade multiple 3-4 case days for a day or two off. You’ve got a lot of it figured out.

But one thing I don’t feel I have figured out is this: how much of a problem it is it that, come December, I’m currently looking at 4 final papers versus only one final exam?

The issue is that I don’t know what final papers here are all about. I remember what they were like in college, but I’m not sure how much my final papers about World War II have in common with final papers I would write here.

The issue is that this is not an experience one gains during RC year.

I’m proposing that they change that, and what better class to change it in than BGIE?

For the RCs out there, BGIE cases typically focus on a particular country. They tend to be very long cases with pages and pages of exhibits highlighting key economic indicators. The text and exhibits often explore decades or even centuries of the country’s history to explain its socio-political-economic development. (You will come to either love or loath this class, there really seems to be no middle ground.)

In short, there’s a lot of information to digest in a BGIE case. With all that information to process, I don’t think anyone would disagree that, in order to fully explore the socio-political-economic circumstances of modern-day… oh, I don’t know, Switzerland… one could probably devote more than 4-5 hours to the endeavor.

To be clear, I’m not saying exploring the country’s development and present circumstances can’t be done in 4-5 hours, just that more time could be devoted to it and Switzerland would not object.

And I understand that part of what this school is preparing us for is the swift processing of information and quick delivery of analysis/recommendations. That’s all fine, and we demonstrate our ability to do so in nine other classes during RC year.

Why not devote one of our classes to a different type of analysis?

Students would have a chance to flex a few new muscles and, to end where we started, they’d certainly have one less thing to feel uncertain about in the midst of drop/add.

September 6, 2012
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